Game Design Theory Level 4 – Advanced Game Mechanics and HUD / GUI Elements

Design “Easy to See and Read” Icons

HUD borders

Look at the picture above again and notice that the icons are big, outlined and easy to see. Clearly you can see the word jump, the time and the hand with a blast forming on the second button. The time in this frame should be moved down and out of the way of that black line like this:

HUD borders corrected


Try to keep background elements and in-game objects from obscuring or otherwise interfering with the HUD, unless that is a specific fourth-wall-breaking technique you want to use. The more pleasing the visual arrangement is to the eye of the player the more immersed and satisfied they will feel while playing your game.


Make Quick Time Events ( QTEs ) Fair and Easy to Perform

(randomizing them makes the game much harder)



We discussed QTEs before and mentioned that they were best kept to a sequence that is the same each time the player tries again. A long, randomized sequence of button presses prompted by button icons on-screen can cause frustration because the player will attempt to memorize or find the pattern. If there isn’t any pattern players may become frustrated and give up. You can compromise by having a few patterns that don’t change but are rotated out randomly so the player may have to memorize a few combinations before they are able to complete the sequence. This would also increase the difficulty without making it extremely difficult like true randomization would.